I decided it would be fun to recount a partial list of items that Annie has destroyed, or at least attempted to destroy. I thought it would be a quick project. I was wrong.
Annie, like any puppy, didn’t mean to destroy beloved items. I doubt she even knew that any item was more or less valuable than any other. I could wax philosophical about dogs not caring for the perceived value of things, but I think I can sum up her lack of appreciation for the finer things in life in a far simpler way: She’s a dog.
Technically, the word dog means a male of the subspecies Canis lupus familiaris, though it is generally acceptable to to use the word dog when referencing either gender. The proper term for a female is bitch. Accurate though it may be, I must admit to taking a certain sophomoric pleasure in referring to Annie in this way. The kids both enjoy reporting that the word is applicable “in both ways!” when I abuse it. Luckily that only happens three or four times a day since I promised to cut back on the profanity.
I’ve tried to come up with a proper sub-subspecies classification for Annie. Canis lupus ferretus familiaris comes to mind, but I struggled with the male/female nomenclature. Ferret-bitch just doesn’t roll off the tongue like ferret-dog does, and neither is as satisfying as the single word when discovering a ruined antique.
Regardless of what I call her, she’s eaten, chewed or flat-out destroyed some pretty interesting things. Here’s a partial list:
One Bratz doll – I’m actually sort of OK with this one since I dislike Bratz dolls and everything they seem to represent. That is, until I look closer at the partially dismembered, headless naked doll. Her legs were chewed off up to the knees. These dolls are disturbing enough already since they don’t’ have any feet, but to see the calves chewed off was just short of horrifying. One arm survived, but the head was chewed off of the body and discarded like it just didn’t matter. I think my reaction to this one might be just the push I needed to seek therapy.
The cord for the vacuum – Luckily, it wasn’t plugged in at the time. Luckily we were able to get it fixed. Do you have any idea what a house with a Newfie or two in it looks like when the vacuum is out for repair, even for just a few days?
Every crayon that’s ever entered our house – Either Annie is a frustrated artist, or crayons taste better then I ever imagined. I’m not about to start tasting my children’s writing implements – especially the ones that have been in Annie’s mouth – so I’m going to go with the artist thing.
Every pencil too – Pencils I can understand. They’re nothing more than little yellow sticks after all, so I give Annie a pass on the pencils.
A screwdriver – Annie steps into the dangerous realm of eating Daddy’s things by destroying one of my tools. I have to admit that I’m impressed she could do so much damage to the handle of a tool.
A wooden flute – This one hit home for the girls after I had told them the tale of my Saint Bernard who, back in the 70s, ate my wooden flute that had been hand-made in Czechoslovakia . Why a boy in the 70s would have a wooden flute in the first place is simply not germane to the story at hand.
Small wooden turtles – When traveling in Germany I found these small hand-carved wooden turtles that I thought were wonderful. They had bodies that were just a large wooden ball. When you rolled the ball, the turtles rolled forward. Clever old-world goodness. Apparently they were quite tasty too.
Numerous cardboard boxes – I have no idea what the attraction was, but she completely destroyed multiple cardboard boxes. I would keep them near the fireplace, then cut them up and use them for kindling. It turns out that they’re harder to get burning when covered in drool. Who knew?
A beloved Nintendo DS-Lite – My girls each have a Nintendo DS-Lite that they bought with their own money. They saved for quite some time to buy the $100 hand-held video game machines. Colleen left hers on the couch one day, and Annie must have thought it was filled with candy because she apparently tried for hours to get inside the thing. We were all very impressed that the DS-Lite continued to function for years after being thoroughly chewed and slobbered upon.
A library book – We’re not sure if Annie was just bored and decided to eat the book, or if she actually read the book and chewed it as a criticism of the contents. Either way, we weren’t happy. We had to confess to the library that our deranged puppy ate the book. They were not impressed by our tale of woe, nor of the description of adorable puppy antics. Those fascist librarians actually made us pay for the book! Stupid accountability…
A camera case – Luckily it was only a case for a small point and shoot camera, and it wasn’t mine. Most importantly, we’re thankful that the camera wasn’t in the case, which is an odd thing to write since I’m constantly harping on the kids to put things in their cases.
Numerous water bottles – I can’t really blame her for these. They crunch when she bites them, they pop out of her mouth and skate across the floor like a frightened rabbit just begging to be pounced on once more. Plus, they’re not prized family heirlooms – at least not that I’m aware of.
A bicycle helmet – This one ranks high on the list of items I would have never thought a dog would chew. Still Annie is no normal dog. She didn’t ruin the helmet, though helmets are supposed to be replaced after any significant trauma. I’d say that being chewed by Annie qualifies as Trauma. Hell, I’d say that spending time with the ferret-beast qualifies as trauma on some days.
A “wedding bear” – Most of the stuff that was destroyed was left out by the kids. If you leave things out where Annie can reach them, then you can safely expect Annie to destroy them. This bear was from our wedding, and was about 15 years old. Not only did she cross the line by touching our stuff, she had to have gone out of her way to take it and maul it with her sharp little ferret-puppy teeth. The bear was on a windowsill, supposedly out of the puppy-zone. With a Newfoundland, the puppy-zone extends about six feet off of the floor. Lesson learned.
Girl Scout SWAPs – Old news to frequent readers of this page, but for those who haven’t read the tale, you can read about Annie the Girl Scout.
Jenga blocks – Another case of the “put the wooden toys away or Annie will eat them” rule being realized. Now you know why I put my fine chess pieces in a box up on a high shelf when they’re not in use.
Candles – One day after my kids had gone to a candle-making event at camp, they left their hand-made candles safely on the kitchen counter. Annie chewed one to pieces that night. Annie also chewed one of Lauren’s nice beeswax candles that was also safely on the counter. I think we need higher counters. Did I mention that Lauren’s candle was used for a Girl Scout bridging ceremony – last week!
I’d like to think that Annie is growing up, and that her desire for the destruction of properly is waning. I’m sure we’ll look back fondly on these memories in the future. That’s not much consolation for a nine-year-old when her favorite toy gets eaten. It is also, as of yet, simply not true.
Early this week Annie ate an egg of Silly Putty. She didn’t actually consume the putty, but she chewed the egg to pieces. Just yesterday Annie broke into the bread drawer again and ate half of a loaf of Wonder Bread. Annie is two! Look at the photo of her on the top of this page. Does she look like a puppy to you? Last week she ate a candle.
I thought that this would be a quick piece. I thought that I’d be done in an hour. Every time I had Lauren proof-read, she remembered more items. The more items we remembered, the more pictures I took. After many hours of this, the list had tripled in size. At almost 2200 words, I finally decided to stop. Perhaps next time I’ll try a shorter article entitled “Things Annie has not Eaten”.